Spring is in the air, we may have just moved out of the Pesach season, but Shavuos and summer will be here before you can bat an eye. Well what does this mean for us wine drinkers? Do wines discriminate between seasons and are there specific wines, which are better suited for the warmer seasons?
For a few years already, rosé (pink) wines have been the hot trend on the American wine market. What is the big deal? Rose is not only the perfect thirst quencher for the upcoming days of sunshine, it is extremely food friendly and the perfect quaffer for a BBQ or a personal favorite, a picnic on the beach. This pink wine is not a joke as some may see it. There is no requirement for a good wine to be red, bold, high in alcohol content or full of oaky flavors. On the contrary, seasoned wine drinkers will often profess to enjoy white and Rosé’s wines more than they enjoy heavy red wines. The most important piece to the wine puzzle is to be open-minded and try new things. Ask your friends or follow recommendations you read about, but more importantly, get rid of all your preconceived notions about what wine should be and get out there and try new things! Try to understand and decipher the different flavors and aromas wafting in that glass. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you have been missing in those bottles all along.
Interestingly, Rosé is made from juice from red grapes and which has been exposed to its skins only for a short period of time, ranging from a few minutes to several hours. The color on some of the new releases of Rosé’s is almost as beautifully intoxicating as finishing a couple bottles with some friends. It is important to note that rosé should be drunk as young and as fresh as possible. For example, we are almost mid-way through 2017 therefore; while some 2015 rosés might still be fresh and appealing, the 2016 vintage of rosés has been released and is the vintage you should be looking for on the shelves. The fresher the rosé, the more likely you will be able to experience the aromas and flavors properly and be sure to serve these offerings chilled. These wines may be relatively short lived, but the nuances of the flavors offered by these wines will be everlasting… until next year.
There are many styles of Rosé out there. The classic ones come from Provence in France and those that come from other regions yet are made in that style as well, which is usually boasting a light salmon color. For instance, the beautiful offerings from Château Roubine, as well as the Spanish Ramon Cardova Rosado. These rosé wines are elegant and enticing with high acidity which makes them the perfect accompaniment to fish and cheese dishes alike. The other types of rosé can vary in color from a light pink to a dark pink and boasts more fruity flavors expressing themselves in notes of cranberries, strawberries, and watermelon. The Capçanes Peraj Petita Rosat as well as the Covenant Rosé are just like that.
The rosé offerings this season from Israel do not disappoint either. A front-runner is the Vitkin Journey Rosé. Darker in color than a typical French Provence style rosé, this pink wine offers a beautiful nose of strawberries and mouthwatering cherries with the perfect amount of acidity to balance it out it would pair perfectly with some brie cheese and green apple sandwiches. Another wonderful selection comes from the Jezreel winery, which has become very popular for their unusual blends this year, would pair perfectly with a bowl of kiwis and mangos. Be on the lookout as it should reach our shelves in a few weeks. Castel, known for their consistency in each vintage, offers their Provence style rosé from Israel boasting its distinguished salmon colored hue, and offers minerality like no other Israeli made rosé. This wine would pair perfectly with a ceviche style appetizer of fresh cod marinated with jalapeno, pomegranate juice and cilantro.
Be careful, though. Rosé wines are so refreshing, easy-drinking and delicious that you won’t even notice and the bottle will already be empty! L’chaim!
By Gabriel Geller